Here is a step-by-step guide on purchasing window blinds. Learn about the newest and most modern types of blinds on the market, as well as the various alternatives and where to get them.
Based on anecdotal evidence and the results of our ongoing poll, window blinds are one of the most popular types of window covering.
Yes, it appears that Americans prefer blinds to curtains, as 58% of those polled prefer blinds to all other window treatment alternatives (750 people were polled).
It is not surprising. Window blinds are quite functional, adaptable, and may also be rather elegant! You can’t deny that this style of window covering appears sleek, clean, and visually beautiful in any window frame, whether you choose braided wood shades or the softer, more homely aesthetic of fabric blind!
While blinds are a little harder to clean, the benefits far exceed the difficulty. Blinds may be the simplest way to modify the interior (and exterior) of your home if you’re trying to spruce up your window treatments.
However, not all blinds are created equal, and not all blinds operate in the same way. If you want to make a purchase, you’ll need to learn a little more about the various types of blinds.
With our comprehensive modern blinds buying guide, we can assist you.
Blinds for Windows – Your Buying Guide
We’ve attempted to make this information as comprehensive as possible in order to help you learn everything there is to know about blinds and make an informed purchase. Indoor blinds are the subject of this detailed blog post to help you choose the best blinds for your home windows.
However, before we start, you should ask yourself a few questions and make some considerations.
- What will be the major function of your blinds, for example?
- Will they be beautiful, or will they be more blackout shades to assist block out the light?
- Would you rather have vertical or horizontal blinds?
- Do you need manual blinds, such as a roller blind or a roman shade, or do you think motorized blinds would be better for you?
Window Treatments – Understanding Various Types
The term ‘blinds’ is frequently used to refer to both blinds and shades.
While all forms of blinds and shades perform the same basic function as indoor window coverings, there is a key distinction between the two. So, before we go any further, let’s be sure we know what distinguishes them.
Indoor blinds are available in a range of styles, materials, and sizes. Individual slats adjust up and down on every blind. The amount of light entering the room can also be controlled by tilting the blinds from side to side. The majority of blinds have a cord on one side that allows you to adjust the blinds up and down. The tilt of the blinds is controlled by a rod on the opposite side of the blinds, which allows you to open or close the slats.
Shades are available in a variety of styles, materials, and sizes. Unlike blinds, they are constructed of a single piece of material rather than discrete slats. As a result, they may only be adjusted up and down, not side to side.
Types of Blinds
1. Vertical Blinds
Individual slats run down a track at the top of the blind in vertical blinds.
Vertical blinds open in one of two ways: from side to side or by parting in the middle, depending on the style. For patio doors and floor-to-ceiling windows, these blinds are a popular choice. They can, however, be used to cover smaller windows.
Vertical blinds are available in a variety of materials to fit your budget and design, including wood, imitation wood, and PVC. Vertical blinds are not only attractive, but they are also simple to maintain.
Vertical blinds are a wonderful option for outfitting a sliding door with blinds.
Vertical blinds are an excellent solution for large windows (as opposed to horizontal blinds, which can bow or bend over time. I know from personal experience).
Small windows and single doors are best suited for Venetian-type blinds.
Choosing and Purchasing
How do you decide where to purchase vertical blinds?
The best strategy is to go to each of the BIG 3 vertical blinds stores listed below and look over their inventory as well as their custom ordering procedure to make sure they have the style, color, material, sizes, and brands you desire.
If you’re obtaining comparable results from several, go with the cheapest option, but make sure to ask about installation and shipment as well. When ordering vertical blinds online, it’s important to choose the perfect ones for you.
Step 1: Measure the height and breadth of the windows and/or doors where vertical blinds will be installed.
Step 2: Look through the portfolio of various styles. Make a short list of the alternatives you like (and double-check that they’re in stock. Nothing is more frustrating than going through a slew of ordering hoops just to be told they’re sold out).
Step 3: Review the customization options, which include size, material, texture (if available), color, control type, stack options, brackets, valance (if desired), warranty options, and, of course, quantity.
Purchasing blinds is a time-consuming process, but you can save a lot of money by doing so online.
2. Venetian Blinds
The most popular type of blind is Venetian blinds. They are horizontal blinds with horizontal slats that are held in place by string or cloth tapes. The bottom slat of Venetian blinds is forced into the slat above it as they are lifted. Any window, including arched windows, can be fitted with these blinds (yeah, really). Motorized elements are also included in smart home technologies.
Choosing and Purchasing
The name “Venetian Blinds” refers to horizontal slat-style blinds in general. These are the most frequent types of blinds found on windows, particularly those with small openings. They’re entirely customizable, so take your time when ordering to make sure you understand all of the options and, of course, your sizing.
Sizing: You want your blinds to have as tight a fit as possible without scraping or scratching the inside of your window or door frame.
Venetian blinds are available in both thick and thin styles, with each type having its own sub-name to distinguish it from the others in the “Venetian Blinds” category. Venetian blinds are available in virtually any material that may be used for blinds.
Aluminum, bamboo, faux wood, PVC, plastic, and wood are among the materials used.
Where do Venetian blinds work best?
They can be used on any size window or door. However, they work best on smaller windows and single doors. Vertical blinds may be the ideal option if you need blinds for a double door and want them to span the entire width. The same can be said for large picture and bay windows.
Venetian blinds can be purchased from a variety of sources. Local custom blinds outfits can be found in many towns and cities, but they can also be purchased online. Get some local quotations, but compare them to the costs offered by the major internet blinds retailers.
3. Mini Blinds
Mini blinds are quite similar to Venetian blinds in terms of functioning. However, they have narrower slats than standard Venetian blinds. Typically, the slats are 1″ thick.
Here’s a picture of a small blind.
Personally, I prefer blinds that are thicker. After a while, mini blinds might start to seem shabby. The thicker or imitation wood is significantly lovelier, but it is also more expensive. Mini blinds (and micro blinds) also have the disadvantage of being more difficult to clean. There are more slats to clean, and the labor is more difficult.
4. Micro Blinds
Micro blinds are much smaller than mini blinds. The slats on these blinds are 12 inches thick.
5. Panel Blinds
Another common option for patio doors and large windows is panel blinds. Panel blinds have portions that slide down a track and can be opened and closed.
6. Pleated Shades
Pleated shades (also known as pleated blinds) have a pleated piece of material that makes an accordion-like pattern that can be raised or lowered. These shades resemble Venetian blinds in appearance while also “softening” the appearance of the window. However, unlike blinds, they cannot be changed from side to side.
Fabric or paper are commonly used to make pleated blinds.
7. Cellular Shades
Cellular shades are also known as honeycomb shades (or honeycomb blinds). They are similar in appearance and are built of similar materials to pleated shades. Cellular shades are constructed up of two sections of material, unlike pleated shades.
The back and front pieces of cellular shades are open in the middle, creating a pocket that provides insulation. Cellular blinds are available in a variety of cell sizes to suit the requirements of various windows.
These shades are an excellent choice for keeping your home cool in the summer and toasty in the winter. Sound insulation is also provided by cellular blinds.
8. Roman Shades
Roman shades (also known as Roman blinds) are a classic window treatment made of fabric or natural fibers such as jute or seagrass.
Roman shades come in various styles, but they all have one thing in common: they’re all black. It folds in on itself when you lift a Roman shade, similar to how a Venetian blind does.
When a roman shade is fully raised, the fabric continues to fold in on itself, resulting in a big stack of fabric at the top of the window. While Roman shades have a lovely and timeless appearance, they do reduce the amount of viewing space in your window when they are raised.
To meet a variety of demands, Roman shades are offered in both lined and unlined versions. Additional characteristics, like blackout and thermal linings, are frequently included in the linings.
9. Roller Shades
Roller blinds are another common shade option. Roller blinds are often composed of synthetic or natural materials and can be rolled up or down according to your preferences. Roller blinds come in a range of forms and can be mounted on the window in various ways. Affordable roller blinds include an exterior system that enables you to see all of the shade’s many functions and mounting hardware (which can also help with tangles!)
Stylish roller shade choices with valances, cornices, or fascias that cover all of the shade’s components and create a more polished look are also available if you’re looking for something a little more premium.
Roller blinds, like Roman shades, come in a variety of natural and synthetic textiles. They frequently include extra features such as thermal or blackout linings (thus forming a blackout shade), and they can also be purchased as double roller blinds, which are two blinds mounted on the same bracket.
10. Curtain Blinds – Tie-Up Shades
Tie-up shades are a hybrid of window blinds and curtain blinds.
Tie-Up sunglasses are made from a variety of materials. These shades are made from a single piece of fabric with ties that extend beyond the shade’s bottom. The shade can be raised by rolling it up and then tying it in place. This hue has a casual or rustic touch to it that works well with a variety of decor types.
11. Solar Shades
Solar shades are similar to roller shades in appearance. Their goal is to limit the quantity of sunshine, glare, UV rays, and heat that enters the room from the outside while maintaining the view through the window. A solar shade is the greatest solution if you want to restrict the impact of sunlight (and effectively give a pair of “sunglasses” for your window).
12. Outdoor Shades
Outdoor shades are often made of weather-resistant materials and installed outside of the windows (or glass doors) they are covering. These shades are frequently used on a patio door or window to minimize the amount of sun exposure and heat that enters the space, but inside blinds such as solar shades or skylight blinds (or conservatory blinds) are also frequently used for this purpose.
13. Skylights Shades
Skylight shades come in a variety of styles, including roller, pleated, and cellular. These shades are made to cover skylights that are difficult to reach. Skylight shades can be included with conservatory blinds (used to cover and insulate the glass roofs of conservatories).
Because of its insulating capabilities, cellular blinds are especially popular for skylights. The majority of skylight blinds have a largely removable rod that can be used to raise, lower, or adjust the shade. Instead of a rod, skylight shades are sometimes raised and lowered with a handle. There are also automatic versions available.
14. Smart Blinds
Smart blinds, which are high-tech modern blinds, may still seem like something out of a science fiction novel, but they are becoming more popular due to smart home technology. Smart blinds and shades are available in a variety of classic and high-tech fashions.
Smart blinds connect to a smartphone app and can be operated individually or in groups. They can also be set to open and close at specific times throughout the day. Smart blinds are not only one of the most physically appealing products on the market, but they may also help you save money on energy.
There are smart controllers available if you want smart blinds but don’t want to spend the money to convert your home with them. These smart controllers allow you to add the same smart technology to your existing blinds as is found in more expensive smart blinds.
Not only are there many various types of blinds and shades, but there are also many different materials from which they can be made. The material the window coverings are made of will likely be essential to you, depending on the room you’re installing them in and your particular taste.
For most situations, wood blinds are a popular choice. They have the natural beauty and warmth of wood, and they come in a variety of stains, wood types, and hues.
Wooden blinds are a good choice for most rooms in the house, but they aren’t ideal for rooms or locations where humidity and moisture are an issue. Wood blinds are prone to warping, splitting, cracking, and breaking since wood is a natural substance that expands and contracts over time.
When it comes to adding more permanent window coverings, such as shutters, which are a category unto themselves (there are several kinds ranging from a full height shutter to a beautiful plantation shutter), wood is the material of choice.
16. Faux Wood
Faux wood blinds have the same lovely appearance as real wood blinds.
However, because they’re composed of synthetic materials, faux wood blinds are less expensive than wood blinds. They can be utilized in places and rooms with increased humidity, such as restrooms because they aren’t made of natural wood. Wood blinds have been a popular choice for any application due to their durability and affordability.
Plastic blinds are the most cost-effective of all the options. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes. They’re ideal for all situations, especially those where fabric blinds aren’t an option (such as a bathroom window). They don’t, however, have the same elegant appearance as other materials like real wood blinds. It’s also worth noting that there are environmental considerations when buying plastic products, so if you’re concerned about the environment, you might want to skip this one.
Also, keep in mind that the word “plastic blinds” is a bit of a misnomer, as it can refer to a variety of blinds manufactured of plastic, such as vinyl blinds.
18. Stainless Steel
Metal blinds have a similar appearance to plastic blinds and come in a wider range of finishes. They’re moisture-resistant, making them ideal for restrooms and other humid situations.
Metal blinds are frequently available in a variety of gauges. The thicker and more robust the slats are, the narrower the gauge. Because they’re composed of metal, these blinds are the noisiest on the market, which may annoy some people.
Paper shades are a popular and cost-effective option for a variety of décor types. Pleated shades are the most prevalent type of paper shade. The majority of paper hues are solid colors, but others have lovely ornamental designs, drawings, or paintings on them. Graphic hues are particularly popular in Asia, and they may be a lovely and distinctive addition to your house.
20. Natural Fabric Blinds
Natural fabric is a popular type of shade material. However, the emergence of various synthetic textiles has reduced its market share slightly. Cotton, jute, and seagrass are the most commonly used fabrics.
Tie-up, roller, and roman shades are commonly found in these textiles.
Natural cloth hues are both easy to clean and long-lasting. They are, however, susceptible to fading and can take a beating from the sun’s UV rays over time.
21. Synthetic Fibers
Synthetic fabrics are the most commonly used material in the production of specific types of shades, such as tie-up, roller, and Roman shades. They’re resilient and easy to clean, just like natural materials. On the other hand, synthetic textiles are usually more resistant to fading and tend to keep their attractiveness for longer than natural fabric hues.
Method of Production
The manufacturing process of a blind or shade will most likely be crucial for you as you hunt for the ideal window covering. You’ll have to select between made-to-measure and ready-made window coverings depending on your budget and the amount of time you have.
The most common window sizes are covered by ready-made blinds and shades. Customers can usually alter them to offer a more tailored fit for their windows. Ready-made blinds are far less expensive, and in most cases, they may be delivered the same day you place your order. Typically, the customer installs these blinds in their home themselves. While ready-made blinds come in a variety of styles and options, you won’t be able to fully customize the look of your window treatments as you can with made-to-measure blinds or shades.
23. Made to Measure
The maker creates made-to-measure blinds specifically for the customer. The consumer can tailor every aspect of their window covering with made-to-measure blinds, including color, finish, material, hardware arrangement, and other features. There are numerous advantages to having custom window coverings produced. Customers who want the right solution for their home without the sacrifices that come with ready-made options may choose made-to-measure options.
They’re also the greatest option for residences with unusually shaped windows for whom ready-made sizes aren’t widely available. Depending on the level of customization needed, the manufacturer may take a week or more to construct made-to-measure blinds.
The manufacturer or a skilled professional normally install the blinds once they’ve been delivered. Made-to-measure blinds and shades are, as you might expect, far more expensive than ready-made options.
Features of Window Blinds
The objective of all blinds and shades is to provide privacy while limiting the quantity of natural light that enters a room.
However, some window coverings include extra qualities that increase their adaptability and utility.
Blackout fabric is one of the most popular extra characteristics of various hues. External light is virtually totally covered by the shade when using this cloth. This is a popular feature for shades used in bedrooms and other areas where privacy is important.
Thermal fabric or thermal insulating pockets are another common feature that you’ll find in many colors. The ornamental fabric is usually sewed on the back of the thermal fabric. Inside the blinds, there is sometimes a thermal lining or a foam-like material. This extra layer insulates the window, helping to keep the space cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Sheer textiles can be incorporated into shades to give the product a new degree of utility. Sheer shades are similar to other shades in that they have slats, similar to blinds, that may be adjusted to control the amount of light that enters a room. Sheer shades have the delicate look of shades but provide a level of functionality usually reserved for blinds.
Because there is no cord for children to break or injure themselves with, this feature is very popular in homes with small children. Cordless blinds and shades do away with the cord entirely, allowing you to alter the window covering with the touch of your hand rather than the cord.
The blinds become considerably easier to control after the cable is removed. Because, let’s face it, who actually knows how to work the wires correctly?
Top Down, Bottom Up
The addition of top-down, bottom-up functionality to your sunglasses is a terrific way to add visual flair and expand their utility. These systems may be raised or lowered from both the top and bottom, giving the consumer even greater light control and privacy options. Top down bottom up shades are particularly useful in rooms with a lot of windows since they may be adjusted individually to create novel and visually pleasing configurations, such as the one seen below.
Despite the fact that top down bottom up blinds have a more complex construction, they are quite simple to install and maintain. Many top down bottom up shades can be installed without the use of even a single screw.
A new consideration for you to consider has been presented thanks to the wonders of technology. Blinds and shades are now available in a variety of styles, including manual and motorized variants.
Manually operated blinds and shades can be adjusted by hand. The height of the blinds or shades is traditionally controlled by a string on one side of the curtains or shades. The blinds can be raised or lowered by pulling on the cable. With blinds, you may alter the direction of the slats to control how much light enters the room using a rod on the opposite side of the controls.
Your blinds or shutters will seem more sophisticated and sleek with new automatic systems. These systems install a hidden motor on the top of the blinds or shades, which can be controlled remotely.
These systems have a cost, and they are significantly more expensive than manual versions. Take a look at this video of a working automatic blinds system.
Where Can I Purchase the Various Types of Blinds?
Now that you’ve gathered all of the information you’ll need to choose the appropriate blinds or shades for your home let’s look at some window coverings retailers.
If you’re looking for ready-made blinds, you can find them in almost any place. Blinds and shades are sold in a variety of styles at big box stores like Target and Walmart. Blinds and shades are also available at home improvement stores, and they tend to have a larger selection of styles.
There are also a plethora of brick-and-mortar and online specialist boutiques with even more options and styles. Here are several places where you may buy ready-made blinds online or in your neighborhood.
- Home Depot
Made to Measure
If your demands necessitate a more customized solution, and you’ve decided to go the made-to-measure way, you might want to think twice about where you shop. There’s a good probability that your neighborhood has a lot of bespoke blind and shade stores. These shops can guide you through the entire process of choosing window treatments and choices. They can take care of all of your installation requirements.
There are many more online shops that can help you with your custom window covering needs. However, bear in mind that once you’ve received your item, you’ll almost certainly need to arrange for installation yourself.
Here are some of the most well-known and well-respected custom blind and shade stores on the internet.
- Smith & Noble
- 3 Day Blinds
- Just Blinds
- Blinds to Go
Additional Points to Consider
Because there are so many various blinds and shades to choose from, there is also a wide variety of pricing. The cost of window coverings is determined by a number of factors. These considerations include the window covering’s style, substance, and any additional features.
The way window coverings work is another important component in deciding their pricing. Fully automatic solutions are significantly more expensive than manual blinds and shades.
The construction of the blinds is the ultimate costing element. Blinds that are ready-made and off-the-shelf are significantly less expensive than blinds that are custom-made for your home.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
When it comes to blinds, the proverb “measure twice, cut once” is extremely relevant, especially whether you’ll be doing your own installation or searching for custom blinds online. You’ll want to measure carefully for ready-made blinds so you can obtain a polished, completed look after your window coverings are placed.
When acquiring personalized items online, measurements are arguably even more crucial. Because your window coverings will be made to the exact measurements you supply, precision is essential to achieve a great fit in your home.
If you’re unsure about taking your own measurements, it’s a good idea to speak with a custom window covering company in your neighborhood. That way, their knowledgeable personnel can guide you through each step of the process while also taking care of the measurements.
With so many various types of window coverings to choose from, you’ll have no trouble determining which blinds will look best in your home. However, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the choices while you look for new window treatments, check out these interior design advice or look for ideas on Pinterest.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some of the most often asked questions about window blinds.
When did window blinds first appear?
They might have been around for a little longer than you thought. The history of window blinds may be traced back to ancient Egyptian and Chinese cultures. The original window blinds would have been fashioned by stringing together reeds and bamboo.
The Persians introduced the blinds to Venice, where they quickly became popular, earning them the moniker “Venetian” blind. The rest, as they say, is history. In 1769, Edward Bevan, an Englishman, got the first patent for the Venetian Blind. The blinds were made of thin strips of wood and supported by a wooden frame. When John Hampson of New Orleans enhanced the characteristics, allowing the slats to be adjusted, they were presented to the states in 1841.
When it comes to window blinds, how long do they last?
Believe it or not, the amount you spend has little bearing on how long they last. More expensive window blinds are often made of higher-quality materials and will last longer than less expensive window blinds.
However, how long they live is largely determined by how well you care for them. They can last 10 years or longer if dusted and cleaned on a regular basis, with expert cleaning once in a while.
Is it possible to repair window blinds?
Window blinds, like almost anything else, can be repaired. Extra slats are normally included with the blinds in case one break. They can be woven back into place, albeit it’s a little tough. Professional services can also repair window blinds.
Is it possible to recycle old window blinds?
They can be recycled, but it may not be as simple as throwing them in your recycling bin. The majority of blinds are made from a variety of materials. And each one can use a different technique of recycling. To discover out, you should always contact your local recycling company.
If everything is made of aluminum, you should be able to recycle them with the rest of your trash. Otherwise, you can disassemble the various materials and recycle them properly. It may take a bit more effort, but consider how much good you’re doing by recycling.
Is it possible to sell used window blinds?
There appears to be a market for everything. Window blinds, on the other hand, can be sold if they are still in good shape. The only difficulty is locating someone who has the same window sizes as you. Used window blinds are widely found at garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores. Individuals can even purchase and sell nearly anything on the internet, including social media platforms.
How much do blinds cost?
They have the potential to be, but they don’t have to be, though. Basic window blinds can be found for a few dollars per online or at your local big-box retailer if you’re on a limited budget. Blinds in a variety of styles and colors will cost a bit more. Alternatively, you can have them professionally designed as a home improvement investment.
Is it possible to cut blinds to size?
Usually, but not always, you’ll be able to purchase window blinds that are the precise width of the window you’re covering. The length may not be an issue depending on the sort of blind you have. On the other hand, Blinds can be tailored to match the exact dimensions of your window in both width and length.
Is it possible to clean blinds?
They can be cleaned, and they will require it just as much cleaning as any other surface in your house. There are several cleaning procedures for blinds depending on the material they are constructed of. You might also locate some useful cleaning equipment. You can also hire a professional to do a deep clean.
Do blinds aid in the cooling of a room?
Window blinds are an excellent technique to help regulate the temperature in your home. In the summer, you can keep them closed on windows that get a lot of direct sunlight. It prevents the space from overheating and keeps the cold air fresh and cool. They’ll also aid in the control of heat in the winter. Keep them open to let the sunlight in and warm the space. It will also help with draughty windows if they are kept closed.
Is it possible to paint window blinds?
Yes, they can be painted. Some modern, contemporary painting techniques can make your window blinds stand out. As more individuals strive to find methods to help the environment by reusing and recycling, painting old blinds has become increasingly fashionable. You can paint your blinds yourself or hire a professional. Your only constraint is your own imagination.
What are continuous rope loop blinds?
Continuous cord loop blinds are different from other types of roller blinds in that they use a pulley mechanism to operate. A continuous rope loop lift returns to the headrail with this sort of blind.
What are panel track blinds?
Panel track blinds follow a track that can be installed within or outside the window or door frame and on the ceiling. Depending on how and where the track is attached, they can be made to be horizontal or vertical blinds.
What is the most suitable blind for a bedroom?
Roman shades, woven shade blinds, blackout blinds, and wooden Venetian blinds are among the most popular blinds for the bedroom. In the bedroom, though, almost any sort of blind will work.